The 2021 UK PONI Papers

Read Full Report(PDF 3MB)

Courtesy of Parilov / Adobe Stock

At the 2021 Annual Conference, held entirely online in June, emerging experts from the nuclear industry, academia, government and the military gave presentations on a range of timely civil and military nuclear issues. The papers included in this volume comprise research from participants at the 2021 Annual Conference.

These papers explore a variety of topics such as new perspectives on arms control and disarmament, the implications of new technologies on deterrence, and the role of regional dynamics in nuclear security.

The papers were accepted and the information therein was current at the time of writing in July 2021. All views expressed are the authors’ own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the authors’ institutions, UK PONI or RUSI.

UK PONI would like to express gratitude to our supporters and sponsors, especially The MacArthur Foundation, Lockheed Martin, the Atomic Weapons Establishment, the UK Ministry of Defence, Babcock, BAE Systems, MASS, and Rolls Royce.


Being able to refine your own research with the support of the UK PONI team and external experts and to present it to a wide audience is a fantastic opportunity which I highly recommend.

Lydia Wachs

German Institute for International and Security Affairs

I never envisioned my career having a nuclear research trajectory until participating in the UK PONI 2021 Annual Conference. The mentorship opportunities fostered some incredible relationships in the nuclear industry and empowered me to write my master’s dissertation on my conference topic. I am now exploring ways that my future career might intersect with nuclear weapons issues.

Mary Hood

King's College London

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with UK PONI as they give scope and context to my day job. Whilst our paper was on an area I do not directly work on, it was a great opportunity to explore something I found interesting, and it was nice to get back to reading physics articles/papers.

George Parkes

Contributing to the UK PONI 2021 Annual Conference greatly helped me refine the part of my PhD research that I chose to present as well as improve presentation and writing skills. The whole process from applying, to preparing the presentation, then writing and editing the paper was a very valuable learning experience for me. I am particularly grateful for the constant guidance along this process provided for by the team at RUSI. I was always met with kindness and readiness to support from my group of all female mentors including the external mentor.

Betty Suh

I believe being involved with UK PONI’s Annual Conference has been beneficial for my development. The conference has presented me with an opportunity to speak in front of a diverse audience. The entire process from proposing a research topic to refining my idea, writing the presentation to writing a policy paper has been very enjoyable.

Bhaumik Brahmbhatt

Atomic Weapons Establishment

Upcoming event


Dr Ana Alecsandru

Research Fellow

Proliferation and Nuclear Policy

View profile


Explore our related content